Inmate deaths climb at Rikers Island as infamous NYC jail faces staffing issues, safety concerns

Conditions at New York City’s infamously violent and overcrowded Rikers Island jail are allegedly going from bad to worse, if that’s even conceivable.

Eleven inmates have died while in the custody of the city’s Department of Corrections, eight of whom reportedly passed away in the chaotic Rikers lockup, and the family of one of them intends to take the city to court in a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit based on an initial notice of claim.

The prison is also experiencing staffing woes roughly similar to what is occurring within the New York City Police Department.

Attorney Sanford Rubenstein, who is representing the family of Elijah Muhammad, 31, told Fox News that “Incarceration at Rikers should not be a death sentence. The federal court judge overseeing Rikers needs to order a federal takeover of the facility.”

Officials in the crime-ridden city indicated that an investigation into inmate deaths is underway.

A Department of Corrections spokesperson also asserted that officials are working constantly “to improve staffing and safety in our jails” pursuant to an action plan amidst a scenario where many officers are out on sick leave.

According to the New York Post, “a rookie correction officer was fired after…Muhammad…was found unresponsive in his cell…at about 9:45 p.m. [on July 10] from a suspected fentanyl overdose.”

Rubenstein’s legal filing alleges, among numerous allegations of official negligence and other forms of misconduct, that Muhammad, a father of four, was placed in unmonitored solitary confinement for about 32 hours in violation of corrections department protocols without access to necessary medical care, including required mental health care. Such detainee isolation is reportedly supposed to be limited to a maximum of six hours in such situations.

The prison “failed to provide enough personnel and/or correction officers who could properly supervise, monitor and control all of the inmates at the time of the incident,” the lawyer’s document claimed, in part.

A family member described Muhammad’s treatment in the facility as “inhumane.”

On Thursday, the New York Daily News reported that “Muhammad was jailed last month on assault charges after cops said he slugged a Brooklyn merchant in front of police and resisted arrest…The family found out about Muhammad’s death when they came to support him for a scheduled court appearance in Brooklyn.”

“DOC figures provided to Fox News Digital this week show 473 uniformed personnel have left the agency so far this year as of July 1, with 287 resigning and 186 retiring. That’s compared to the 415 who left the job during the same time last year,” Fox News recalled.

Many of the guards are working double or triple shifts in the dangerous environment.

According to PIX11 News, inmate-organized “fight nights” are a regular occurrence at the understaffed jail.

“Anyone who thinks that the nation’s second-largest municipal jail system can run safely and effectively, while not hiring enough correction officers to backfill the 3,500 officers we have lost to resignations and retirements since 2019, and the 100 officers we continue to lose every month, is completely clueless,” Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Benny Boscio Jr. declared.

Far-left former Mayor Bill de Blasio reportedly imposed a three-year corrections officer hiring freeze.

According to a report aired by NBC New York embedded below, Rikers allegedly has a practice of caging prisoners allegedly for prolonged periods in decontamination shower stalls after violent incidents.

Last September, appointed Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) released about 200 inmates from Rikers who were detained for so-called technical parole violations.

“Hochul made the announcement before signing into law the ‘Less Is More Act’ that will stop the state from putting ex-cons back behind bars for missing appointments with their parole officers, violating curfew or testing positive for drugs or alcohol,” the New York Post reported at the time.

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Robert Jonathan


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles